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Spam & Security

UC Irvine and UCI Health Information Services SPAM processes

Dealing With Spam UC Irvine and HIS SPAM Mitigation Efforts

University policy for addressing SPAM - Currently all inbound UC Irvine email is received and routed for delivery by Office of Information Technology (OIT). OIT provides a central service for scanning all email to identify unwanted junk email. UCI Health email uses this service to provide a barrier against unwanted email as well to avoid cluttering your Inbox with junk email. A full explanation of the service and how to fully utilize the filtering to reduce your Inbox clutter is listed here.

Server side spam filtering:

UC Irvine (Campus) Spam filtering (SpamAssassin)- OIT's SPAM filters are set up to allow all "possible" junk email to be delivered. Only extremely offensive/egregious junk email or email originating from known SPAM sources is dropped. In order to properly filter "possible" junk email please use a rule within Outlook to send these borderline emails to a Junk folder. Please use these instructions (they work on all versions of Outlook). If you feel outside emails are falsely being labeled as SPAM or that they aren't being delivered due to these filters please contact the UCI Health Postmaster with dates and times of emails that might have been dropped. Information such as the senders email address and possibly the subject line helps in tracking down these lost emails.  We will assist you if your legitimate, work related emails are being blocked. For setup instructions on using the SpamAssassin filters to minimize your Junk email please go to http://www.oit.uci.edu/email/spam/filter.html

UCI Health SPAM filtering - UCI Health currently does a cursory scan for viruses and spam on our front end email systems. We currently rely on OIT's services for in depth scanning and filtering. We do utilize two well known services to check for problem emails. We use Spamhaus as a filter for junk email sources and we do not accept email that originates from sources that are listed on the Spamhaus SPAM list. We also utilize Microsoft's Intelligent Message Filter to provide up to date and heuristic-based message filtering techniques. We allow emails with Spam Confidence Levels of 9 and lower. 

Client side spam filtering:

SpamAssassin 

Please go to the link http://www.oit.uci.edu/email/spam/filter.html for more information.  This is a central campus service provided to all email users.

Safe Senders

Outlook utilizes a Safe Senders option to avoid known good email from being falsely identified as SPAM. At times a email may be forwarded from someone and that email is flagged as "Junk" or SPAM. In order to avoid this from happening users will need to add the senders to their Safe Senders list. A full explanation on how to do this is listed here. Currently we recommend the following email addresses be added to your Safe Senders list: mailsvc@alpha.ddm.uci.edu (this is Zotmail), postmaster@hs.uci.edu (this is Health Affair's email administration account) In order to stay abreast of current campus news you MUST add these addresses to your Outlook configuration. Emergency security bulletins and campus issues are communicated via Zotmails.  For setup instructions on Safe Senders go here.

Outlook junk email filtering

Microsoft uses SmartScreen technology to provide Outlook users with a more secure messaging interface. UCI Health Sciences pushes out updates to our Outlook users as updates are available. This allows users to prevent malicious content from being executed on their systems. This is not a totally foolproof system, but it allows for a more effective client/server secure messaging environment. Used along with the client side rules that work with OIT's spam filters (see below) this provides a VERY good junk email filtering system. 

UC Irvine and UCI Health Information Services policies for AV filtering

ActiveSync & Windows Mobile email

UCI Health Sciences provides email access via a variety of Windows based services and protocols.  Our most popular new method of accessing email is via handheld devices such as cell phones or PDA's.  Remote email access in this manner is secure as the data is transmitted over the network.  We offer three ways to access email on these types of devices.  Our preferred and supported communication method is using Microsoft ActiveSync.  We do support secure POP and secure IMAP.  All email transmission on our new email system is secured by Secure Socket Layer protocols.  That also includes SMTP message transmission.  UCI Health Sciences electronic messaging policy now requires a secure communication for both sending and receiving messages.  As users migrate to our new Exchange 2007 email system they will be required to update their settings to adopt these requirements. 

One of the important issues that arises is the approved handheld email device policy.  Currently UCI Health Sciences requests that all new email devices used for remote email access be a Windows Mobile device with version 5.0 or higher.  We will fully support any ActiveSync device as well.  Non-ActiveSync and non-Windows Mobile devices will be support as much as possible, but in the event they do not work with standard IMAP settings we will not explore further support options.

A full list of vendors, models and options can be found on Microsoft's Windows Mobile site »

What is ActiveSync and how is it different from Windows Mobile?

Microsoft offers a Windows based operating system for handheld devices.  Windows Mobile is a full operating system with Office applications for opening files created by applications such as Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point and typically used non Microsoft files such as PDF's.  Prior to Windows Mobile the operating systems was referred to Pocket PC.  Currently Windows Mobile is a common operating system for many phone carriers and handheld vendors.  If you use Outlook to store email addresses, phone numbers and calendar items you will find that this software is very easy to work with. 

ActiveSync is a software application that is included within Windows Mobile that allows the operating system to connect to Microsoft Exchange.  ActiveSync does not require Windows Mobile to operate.  Many handheld vendors have licensed this software so that their devices can communicate with Microsoft Exchange.  Currently we anticipate that vendors will make a strong push to incorporate ActiveSync onto devices that previously did not offer it.  Currently devices as the iPhone offer IMAP email access, but anticipate that within the next 90 days an upgrade will offer ActiveSync as an option.